To Parents and Alumni

<p>I'm a prospective service academy student. I'm looking into them, but I was surprised when I saw that the Air Force academy only gives 3 weeks summer leave. While I'm willing to give up the "college" life, that little amount of leave seems hard to stomach. Do the rest of the academies do this for summer? More importantly to parents and students, what can you say of your respective academy? I'm torn between Annapolis and West Point. I'd love to be a Marine, I'm just not sure that I'll make it at Annapolis. One more thing, is joining a ROTC program a better option? Thanks</p>

<p>If vacation time is a major concern, the military is not for you.</p>

<p>And if you "think" you can't make it through Annapolis, how do you think you'll become a Marine?</p>

<p>Vacation time isn't the issue, the issue is that I'd like to have one remnant bit of civilian life before I go career military, so having some off time during the summer would be nice.</p>

<p>The point of asking, thanks very much, was to ask for a comparative toughness between the two acadamies.</p>

<p>orthodoxyordeath: Don't worry about how much vacation time the average cadet at USAFA gets in the Summer. All you have to do is make sure in your essays for admission to USNA & USMA that you explain why you need more vacation time. Then when you have your interviews with your MALO and B&G Officer just make it clear to them. I assure you that they will make sure you get more than 3 weeks of vacation time each Summer. Good Luck!</p>

<p>:cool: </p>

<p>:rolleyes: </p>

<p>:confused:</p>

<p>^^
What? You don't think my advice will ensure that the OP has more than 3 weeks of vacation each Summer?</p>

<p>I would love to hear the recommended explanation in the BGO interview; it would make me chuckle.</p>

<p>I would certainly enjoy including the quote in my writeup and would feel confident that the applicant would certainly enjoy a stress-free summer with lots of "time off." [Where DO these kids come from?!]</p>

<p>
[quote]
Where DO these kids come from?!

[/quote]

I have no idea, but I guess it's better they find out about these things before starting the application process and wasting time and resources.</p>

<p>Like I said, I'm not looking for stress-free summers. I actually want the summers so I can <em>work</em>. I've said it before, I'll repeat it. I'm probably going to be career army, so I'd like to get a little bit of civilian time in. I'm giving up the "college experience" to possibly go to a school with hard work, so my main question was just, is all we get 3 weeks in every academy? Frankly, if that's the case, I'd rather go ROTC, get a "normal" college experience, work over the summer, save money, then join.</p>

<p>I believe you get paid during the Summer while enrolled in the SAs. It is your work.
While an SA might not be considered a "normal" college experience, they do offer many unique experiences that you would not have in a "normal" college. Even in ROTC.
Perhaps you're right...ROTC might be a better fit.</p>

<p>orthodoxyordeath,</p>

<p>I think that a clarification might help you understand a summer at an Academy. My information relates mostly to the Air Force Academy, but the idea is similar at all of them.</p>

<p>The summer is divided into 3 three-week periods, which are separated by a couple of 'transition days'. The first period starts about the last week in May and the third period ends about the first week of August. During two of these periods, you are on an assignment from the Academy. The assignments and schedules are different for each cadet. Some of the activities that you can get from USAFA after your freshman year are learning to fly gliders, doing free-fall parachuting, helping track a satellite at a Space Wing, or learning wilderness survival in the Rocky Mountains. During later summers, you will usually go to an active duty base for one of your periods, and spend another at the Academy being part of the 'cadre' of upperclassmen who lead the younger cadets in their activities. (Learning leadership)</p>

<p>The other summer period is your 'leave' period which you are free to use as you want. Many cadets go home. Some go on vacation with fellow cadets. Others will use this time to fit in a class at the Academy that they either failed, or want to take but it won't fit in their regular schedule. This leave period may be any of the three periods, since one third of the cadets will be on leave during any given period.</p>

<p>Best of all, you will continue to get your cadet pay for the entire summer. You will also get a per diem food allowance for each day that you are not at the Academy.</p>

<p>I hope this gives you a better picture, rather than just saying that "Cadets only get three weeks off in the summer"</p>

<p>Your have already joined the military once you accept your appointment and show up tha first day and are expected to follow their schedule/rules. If vacation time is your main concern, the academy is not for you. Sounds like you need to do a LOT more research about your entire career plan before proceeding.</p>

<p>You Stealth81, have given the best most useful answer yet. That makes a lot more sense and sounds way better. </p>

<p>Aglagas, thanks for that answer too. That helps. </p>

<p>Time2, thank you for stating the obvious. I know I'll have joined the military then, that's why I'm asking questions now. No kidding I'm expected to follow rules and schedules, again that's why I'm asking for other people who have gone through it to give me some knowledge. You seem to fail to get what I said earlier, I don't really want the summer to go off galavanting and partying my ass off. I'd like it, if anything, to do a little private sector work so that when I get out of the service, I'm not completely unprepared to enter the private sector as a useful, productive individual. It sounds like you need to read a LOT more of a thread before you act like a condescending know-it-all.</p>

<p>I guess you haven't read/comprehended what the several people who posted above have all said. We get it, however we are not sure you do.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I'd like it, if anything, to do a little private sector work so that when I get out of the service, I'm not completely unprepared to enter the private sector as a useful, productive individual.

[/quote]

2 points.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>The SAs are primarily intended for people who intend to make the military a career. Obviously not everyone knows at 18 years of age whether the military is the right choice for them and many choose to eventually leave before retirement. But I believe the primary purpose of the SAs is to produce career officers.</p></li>
<li><p>I'm not sure how relevant your summer internship experience will be 5 years (your minimum military commitment) after you graduate from an SA. Particularly when during that five years you were most likely doing a military job that had little or no relation to civilian employment. Just an opinion...</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Read again, I said I intend to make the military my career. Career officer is the idea here. My point was when I eventually retire, I would like to do some civilian work still. I don't plan to leave the army and do nothing after that. I've been spending summers interning around, and I'll probably continue interning with a woodworker, to get some experience in a practical job.</p>

<p>If I wasn't sure how relevant your summer internship experience will be 5 years after you graduate from an SA, I'm definitely SURE that your college summer experience will not be relevant in 20+ years. Particularly when during that 20+ years you were most likely doing a military job that had little or no relation to civilian employment. </p>

<p>Your sarcastic and self entitled attitude leaves quite a bit to be desired. Hopefully the SAs and their representatives will correctly asses your potential.</p>

<p>Believe me, when my son was home for his leave during his time at USAFA he was not thinking about working some piddly part time job. Why should he, when he was getting paid for laying around the house and going out with his friends....</p>

<p>Our 2011 USAFA graduate summers:</p>

<p>Summer 1
Basic cadet training</p>

<p>Summer 2
Ops assignment at Eglin AFB, FL with an incentive ride in F-16D
Jump
Leave</p>

<p>Summer 3
Peru (Spanish immersion)
Jump (AM 490 instructor)
Leave</p>

<p>Summer 4
Jump (AM 490 instructor)
Jump (AM 490 instructor)
Leave</p>